'The thing I've always feared': Dame Barbara Windsor's husband says she may have to go into care

June 18, 2020

Dame Barbara Windsor's husband says she may soon have to move into a care home because her Alzheimer's has worsened.

Scott Mitchell, 57, has revealed a specialist had told him that it might no longer be possible for the former Carry On and Eastenders star to stay at home, which is something he has "always feared".

Dame Barbara, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2014, is currently being cared for by Mitchell at their home.

But in a new ITV documentary, made by the actress' former co-star and on-screen son Ross Kemp, Mitchell said he has been told to prepare himself for no longer being able to look after her at home.

He said: "At some point it may not be sustainable to give her the kind of care she needs at the house.

"It's horrible, it's the thing I've always feared. I've had some fairly dark moments since he [the specialist] said that. Because there is a part of me that knows that that is the truth and that is the most likely to happen.

"But there is another part of me which can't imagine letting her go. I can't imagine leaving her when she talks to me the way she does. And putting her somewhere and her thinking 'Why has he done this?'"

Mitchell, who has been married to the 82-year-old star for 20 years, said she often doesn't recognise their own home.

He said: "Now that we're where we are, which is six years after diagnosis, it's a very common thing for me to sit with Barbara at night, firstly her never having a clue that we are actually in our own home, she looks around suddenly and says, 'Why are there pictures of me in this house?'"

Mitchell has been campaigning to raise awareness of the disease since Windsor's diagnosis.

In September last year they delivered a letter to Downing Street signed by 100,000 people, asking for better provision for people with Alzheimer's.

The letter said dementia care across the country was "difficult, and in some places even impossible, to access".

It added: "Our experience is of a care system that too often doesn't care - one that is completely inadequate, unfair, unsustainable and in dire need of more money."

Kemp's episode, filmed before and during lockdown, is a two-part special exploring the real impact of dementia.

He also spoke to other people whose family members have been diagnosed with the disease.

It is part of a four-part series which also explores those living with opioids and people being displaced from their homes to try to gain a vivid insight into their situations.

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